The Woman in Red- First Super Heroine Crime Fighter in Comic Books
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So last year after seeing the Wonder Woman movie with my GF she asked me who the first Super Heroine Crime Fighter in comic books was. I wasn’t sure until I did a little research myself and the Woman in a Red from Nedor looked to be the likely suspect.

So a friend of mine has a complete or near complete collection of the Nedor books (I don’t think even he knows anymore) but he does have a complete run of Thrilling for sure which is where you find what is probably the first Super Heroine Crime Fighter in the Woman in Red series. If you’ve never seen  it I’ve posted one of her stories below for reference. 

She had a decent run in the Thrilling books and was out before Wonder Woman and every other super gal that I can see. She’s certainly not super powered like W.W. but more in line with the likes of Blonde Phantom or maybe even Phantom Lady or Black Canary? I dunno. Judge for yourself.

I am a bit curious though given her somewhat historical significance as to what seems to be the first Super Heroine Crime Fighter in comics (she’s got a code name, mask, costume) why Overstreet, CGC and others don’t note it? I understand that her first appearance in Thrilling Comics #2 being a pretty scarce book probably doesn’t help her profile with collectors but I think it’s kind of a shame she doesn’t get some type of credit for getting there first.

What do you guys think? First Super Heroine Crime Fighter or not? If so, worthy of some kind of recognition?

 

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Edited by N e r V

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I don't know the early history of comic books to know if any other costumed heroine came before March 1940 (the date of Thrilling #2), but looking at what you've posted the woman in red looks like she qualifies.  Relevant to the discussion is that OPG does cite All American 20 for  1st App Red Tornado (1st DC Costumed Heroine, predating Wonder Woman 11/40).

So if the OPG thinks the first DC heroine is worthy of recognition, the first one in all of comic book history would certainly deserve the same.

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Definitely makes sense to me to notate as first heroine crime fighter, though I guess not first "super"heroine.  The first heroine with super powers is debated, but many consider Fantomah (just before Lady in Red) from Jungle Comics, though she is a very odd and obscure character.  I still like to think that Scarlet O'Neil is the first (or at least most important) heroine with superpowers (invisibility), introduced in 1940 (1941 in comics), and that became the prototype for the introduction of Wonder Woman and superheroine characters to follow.

Edited by CrocHntr

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11 minutes ago, CrocHntr said:

Definitely makes sense to me to notate as first heroine crime fighter, though I guess not first "super"heroine.  The first heroine with super powers is debated, but many consider Fantomah (just before Lady in Red) from Jungle Comics, though she is a very odd and obscure character.  I still like to think that Scarlet O'Neil is the first (or at least most important) heroine with superpowers (invisibility), introduced in 1940 (1941 in comics), and that became the prototype for the introduction of Wonder Woman and superheroine characters to follow.

Yeah I had to explain about Fantomah being considered the first Super Heroine in comic books when I got back to her on the subject. She’s the one I actually thought at first before doing a little research. We were looking for the First Lady to put on a costume , mask and had a name that went out to fight crime in the Superman/Batman tradition.

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12 minutes ago, N e r V said:

Yeah I had to explain about Fantomah being considered the first Super Heroine in comic books when I got back to her on the subject. She’s the one I actually thought at first before doing a little research. We were looking for the First Lady to put on a costume , mask and had a name that went out to fight crime in the Superman/Batman tradition.

Yep, I definitely think the Lady in Red seems to fit in that tradition, and deserves recognition in my eyes.  Thanks for posting some of the pages.  They were interesting to read.

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Nelvana of the Northern Lights is a Canadian comic book character and the first Canadian national superhero, debuting in Hillborough Studios' Triumph-Adventure Comics #1 (Aug. 1941). She is also one of the first female superheroes, debuting before Wonder Woman but after Fantomah, the Golden Age Black Widow, Invisible Scarlet O'Neil and others introduced in 1940. Nelvana of the Northern Lights is Canada’s first distinctly Canadian female superhero.

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Edited by eccomic

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17 minutes ago, Pat Calhoun said:

Sheena?

She actually first appeared in a magazine Wags #1 in 1937. I think most would consider her in the same vein as Tarzan. Tarzan was never considered a superhero but rather a jungle adventure character so I would place all the “jungle girls” in that group myself.

 

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Edited by N e r V

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I think I wrote something about this after the Berk Auction. The Woman in Red is pretty much the first MASKED female Crimefighter. Fatomah was before her as a "Super" hero, although I agree she's not so super. We also had a female "Super hero" in Feature Funnies, she appeared in early 1941..

 

 

From Comic Vine

A costumed heroine who only appeared in seven issues of Quality's FEATURE COMICS was USA the Spirit of Old Glory. She was a young girl who sat at the feet of Betsy Ross in 1777, excitedly watching the American Flag first come into being. She was given some of the remaining threads from the cloth that went into the very first Old Glory, and she put them for safekeeping into a locket kept around her neck. She ran out to tell her Uncle Sam about what she had watched, but in the rain she grew sick and in Uncle Sam's presence she died. Years later, an old man found the locket in a overgrown Philadelphia cemetary. When he opened the locket, USA, the Spirit of Old Glory came to life again to protect her country. The heroine was a young woman who had no secret identity, even when she donned an army uniform to investigate trouble at an army base or when she joined other ladies who worked in a munitions plant. She wore a brief blue outfit and blue boots. Her cape, the American flag, gave the power of flight, repelled bullets, and fluttered to warn her when the country was in danger. She carried a gold torch that used beams of light and energy to reveal things, clobber the bad guys and in one story melt metel. Her short career in pre-war America was taken up in battling sabetours who meant to destroy her defenses and prey on the people. Her stories were drawn by Maurice Gutwirth.

 

USA was one of the earliest Super Heroines in Comics and certainly the first one to use a flag as part of her costume. Fantomah appeared in Jungle Comics #2 (Feb. 1940), Peggy Allen( the woman in Red) was published in March of 1940 (in Thrilling comics #2) and Hawkgirl was in All Star 5, in July of 1941.

All Star 8, was not published until December 1941.

 

 

This is the first appearance of the Woman in Red

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I used to think first superheroine in comics (newspaper) was Scarlet O'Neill (1939) and first in comic books was Owl Girl.   But you found examples I never heard of

Edited by bluechip

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Shiera Sanders appears in flash comics 1 that was January 1940. But she doesn't become Hawkgirl Till later I believe.

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16 minutes ago, domuhnator said:

Shiera Sanders appears in flash comics 1 that was January 1940. But she doesn't become Hawkgirl Till later I believe.

Hawkgirl's  first appearance is All Star 5.

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18 hours ago, bluechip said:

I used to think first superheroine in comics (newspaper) was Scarlet O'Neill (1939) and first in comic books was Owl Girl.   But you found examples I never heard of

I'm just thrilled to see people actually MENTION female Super heroes, masked crusaders, etc:) It's nice:)

I had no idea when I was a kid that there were females before Wonder Woman and Supergirl.

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Phantom Lady appeared in August of 1941, in Police #1. 

She wasn't exactly "super" though, she did wear a mask.

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I always thought it was Sheena in Jumbo #1 (1938)

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1 hour ago, Crowzilla said:

I always thought it was Sheena in Jumbo #1 (1938)

That just shows how wrong you have been all of these years... :baiting:

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1 hour ago, MrBedrock said:

That just shows how wrong you have been all of these years... :baiting:

That would only be news to my mom.

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